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Hot Topics in the Financial Services Industry

Author: David S. Warner, Littler

Introduction

The financial services industry (generally made up of the banking, securities and commodities, insurance and real estate sectors) is currently one of the most heavily regulated in our economy. In addition to intensified efforts to scrutinize past business practices, lawmakers have created new laws to make financial products and services even more transparent and easy for the public to understand. To facilitate exposure of improper conduct, Congress created new protections for employees who report, or blow the whistle on, conduct that they perceive as unlawful. To help overcome employees' fear of retribution, Congress also created unprecedented incentives for employees to report certain conduct to the government under a cloak of anonymity.

This heavily regulated landscape and its constant movement, which is expected to continue under the Trump Administration, make it vital for HR professionals to know the rules applicable to their organization. This Legal Insight, which does not address all of the rules applicable to employers in the financial services industry, highlights some of the more notable legal requirements to help HR spot potential issues. By becoming more familiar with the growing number of rules applicable to the financial services industry, employers can and should take proactive steps to ensure compliance and thereby lessen any risk of civil and/or criminal liability.